MDC president Nelson Chamisa has responded to former President Robert Mugabe’s critics saying it is not in African culture to humiliate or embarrass the elderly.
Chamisa said this during an interview with SABC Foreign Editor Sophie Mokoena. He said Mugabe is an important part of Zimbabwe’s history. Chamisa’s comments come after the Zanu-PF Youth League called for Mugabe to lose all the honours bestowed upon him by the party and government. Said Chamisa:
He is our old man and I have said that you know on the African continent it is African to always acknowledge the elderly. Even if you differ with them you don’t need to embarrass them. You don’t need to undress the elderly, that’s unAfrican. Yes we have differences politically but he is no longer a part of the players. He is part of the past but you can’t have the future without the past. But for us to have a durable foundation for the future we need to also locate the broken debris and foundations of the past so that we do not repeat the mistakes of yesteryear. Its actually unAfrican to humiliate elderly African Statesmen. He is a Statesman. We had issues. We have issues. But you can’t repair your past by mourning over it. You can’t recover the loses of yesteryear on account of vindictiveness. What we want is to say ‘yes there are issues that were done wrongly. How do we find a reparative and restorative path going forward so that we are able to repair and restore where there were some challenges’. So yes Mr Mugabe is just a factor as part of our elderly Statesman and former President but going forward we need a discourse above him and beyond him.